Home » Blog

Mercy is what the world needs

The Sunday after Easter is now officially called Divine Mercy Sunday. Most of us are familiar with the prayers to the Divine Mercy, specially, the 3’o clock prayer and Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. And we are also familiar with the image of the Divine Mercy – Jesus appearing to St. Faustina, with his face so full of kindness and from his heart flowing rays of red and white, the fountain of mercy.

We live in a world full of hurts and pains because people forget to be kind and merciful to each other. How many words have we spoken this week that stung deeply the feelings of our family and friends? What thoughtless act have we done that disregarded the good of another person? We have just gone past Easter and yet, we see that we have returned to our judgmental, bitter and destructive patterns.

The Church believes that Easter is the best way to understand the mercy of God. It is the best illustration of mercy coming from the Father. The Father sent his only Son into the world out of love for us. And the Son willingly loved us to the end. The Holy Spirit prepares our hearts to embrace the loving mercy of God and to find the courage and strength to share it with others. The cross and Resurrection are the proof of God’s mercy on us.

But how do we live this mercy of God? We can only learn it by coming in close contact with Jesus. In their fear, the disciples gathered together because they knew that Jesus would find them. Thomas doubted the resurrection but he too, did not leave the company of the disciples. In his heart, he was hoping that God would have mercy on him and give him enlightenment. And Jesus found him and restored his faith.

Today in a special way, we rejoice because of the beatification of Pope John Paul II, the pope who declared this Sunday to be called Divine Mercy Sunday. We know this pope who is now closer to sainthood, because he was the pope of Filipinos. Twice he visited our country. Every year, at Christmas and Easter, he greeted us in Tagalog and Cebuano. He inspired us by his smile, his concern and his slow and painful descent to death.

The mercy of God so present in his contacts with people can only be explained by the fact that like the apostles, like Thomas, he learned mercy from his intimate contact with the Lord in prayer and sacraments and in the service of others.

I met this pope up-close as a young priest and the rosary he gave me became a constant reminder that God loves me no matter what happens.

Today we reflect on the mercy of God flowing from our Lord Jesus Christ, as we also reflect on an apostle of mercy we have witnessed raised to the altars of the blessed in heaven.